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31.10.2005 General News

Meeting of governance institutions opens

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Akosombo (E/R), Oct. 31, GNA - A two-day meeting of Governance Institutions that received assistance under the 'Consolidating Democratic Governance Programme' being funded by the UNDP and other bilateral donors began at Akosombo on Monday.

The last Operational Committee Meeting of Governance Institutions, being organised by the National Governance Programme (NGP) is to evaluate projects under the four-year programme intended to build the capacity of beneficiary institutions to enable them to improve their performance and promote good governance.

About 5.9 million dollars out of the projected amount of 7.2 million dollars, have been disbursed for the various activities under the programme that would end in December 2005.

Mr Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, Chief of Staff and Minister of Presidential Affairs, addressing the opening session said good governance remained one of the three main priorities of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government.

He said the other two were, human resource and private sector development.

Mr Mpiani said: " The importance of good governance to the Government is the reason why it has even been considered under the new Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS)."

Mrs Leonora Kyerematen, National Coordinator of the NGP, said Ghana was being touted as a true emerging democracy, because she had had four successful elections where for the first time in her history, governments were changed through the ballot box as a result of efforts of governance institutions and a maturing civil society. She commended the UNDP, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other bilateral donors for their immense support for the programme. Mrs Kyerematen announced that the NGP would organise a national forum on the 1992 Constitution next year.

She said this was in response to calls from various sectors in the country for a national consensus on the nature of the Constitution that Ghanaians wanted in their drive towards democratic consolidation, human development and poverty reduction.

Mr Eric Opoku, a Representative of the UNDP, said the UNDP would provide assistance to promote public participation in policy formulation and implementation and institutionalising civil society participation in the parliamentary processes.

Mr Opoku said the UNDP would in addition; assist the Government to establish a national conflict prevention programme that would include, the creation of early warning and response mechanism and the creation of a national process and mechanism for conflict management and resolution. Other components of the programme are; responsible media reporting, the development of a critical mass of dispute revolvers and small arms and light weapons management and their de-proliferation. Representatives of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Electoral Commission (EC), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Parliament, Trades Union Congress (TUC), and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) attended the meeting.

The rest were, National Media Commission (NMC), Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Council of State, Civic Foundation, Legal Resource Centre, Chieftaincy Secretariat, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Ghana Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) and National Youth Forum (NYF) 31 Oct.05